New Research Vessel Parked at Barker’s Island


There’s a new boat on Barker’s Island in Superior, and for researchers there, the small vessel is a really big deal.

The boat, which can hold ten people and requires two operators, is docked right outside the National Estuarine Research Reserve in Superior, is the newest tool for research along western Lake Superior and the St. Louis River.

The NERR has partnered with UWS as well as NOAA to bring this boat to their fleet.

“The US government owns this; it takes care of the maintenance, the insurance, the liability, all that,” explains Lake Superior NERR Director Erika Washburn.  “They train us to operate it and they equip it for us.  That’s the first time that arrangement has every developed and it took almost three years to put together.”

The new boat is bigger and more versatile than the boat they’ve used in the past and will be able to fulfill a growing list of research opportunities in our Northland waterways.

“I think there’s an energy right now about what is happening here,” Washburn said.  “Looking at climate, looking at water levels, looking at water temperatures, ice.”

Researchers have invited Superior’s mayor and members of the city council on a cruise this Friday.

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